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Study details essential role of trust in agricultural biotech partnerships
Date:11/1/2012

her members of the community to allow them to explore the infield activities and see the crops firsthand. They were reported as particularly effective in facilitating opportunities for participants to directly compare the performance of conventional vs. biotech crops.

For a few interviewees, building trust was assisted by the provision of humanitarian services or doing good work on behalf of a target community -- it demonstrates that "you are credible and you are working for the interests of the public."

Balancing technology's benefits and risks

In an introductory commentary, Calestous Juma, Professor and Director of the Science, Technology and Globalization Project at Harvard Kennedy School, says discussions of biotech crops fall within a broad interest among African countries in putting science and technology at the centre of development strategies.

"It is widely held that long-term strategies to boost African agriculture will have to include the application of biotechnology," he says. "The collection of papers in this special issue sheds light on why establishing trust among business, government, research institutions and the public is central to efforts to introduce agricultural biotechnology."

The new work builds on an earlier article published in Nature Biotechnology from the same team, entitled "Factors influencing agbiotech adoption and development in sub-Saharan Africa."

Concludes Prof. Abdallah Daar, co-author and Senior Scientist at the Sandra Rotman Centre: "We have found that trust must be placed at the forefront of agricultural biotechnology public-private partnerships, and it must be deliberately pursued. Extensive interviews and case studies underscore the importance of transparency, clear communication among partners, and engaging the public. The lessons from this study have potential significa
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert

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